Back to the beginning and northbound!

Trip Start Feb 16, 2011
Trip End Jun 11, 2012

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Howdy folks,

The final day on the tour bus was quite sedate except for one interesting event. Andy had to leave to catch a redeye flight from San Diego via Los Angeles back to Las Vegas so he got up at 3am to catch a taxi. Hassan and I got up to see him off and I thought well that's the last of Andy, but when I awoke at 7am there he was sitting at the firepit. Apparently the airport that he went to was the wrong one in San Diego and not having enough time to get to the second airport, he missed his flight! Thus Andy ended up making the trip back to Los Angeles and dubbing the method of saying more than one goodbye 'doing an Andy'.

So we made an easy start from San Diego and two hours later we arrived back at the Hacienda Hotel where we had started the trip and dropped off the trailer. We headed up to Hollywood Boulevard and Mullholland Drive for a look at Rodeo Drive, Hollywood and Amoeba Music. We said goodbye to Team Denmark who were staying at USA Hostel which I had stayed at for a week. Driving back to the Hacienda, I said goodbye to everyone else and Vern was kind enough to drop me off at the Surf City Hostel at Hermosa Beach. It was a nice surfing suburb of LA unlike anything else I had been to so it was nice to relax and take it easy for a day. I had 2 nights there and the next day I had breakfast with who was left of the Trek America gang at Good Times Beach Cafe before going on a bike ride up and down the coast. Later I went for a dip in the cool Pacific Ocean. Sevya joined me for my final night in LA and we had a few goodbye drinks before I had an early night.

In the morning I got up early and caught a bus to downtown which took over an hour despite being a commuter express! After organising my bags and checking in, I boarded the Amtrak Coast Starlight at 10am for my journey to Portland. We were delayed for 25 minutes and I waited in my roomette which was an upgrade from cattle class (my own luxury on the trip) and it was fantastic. I had my own compartment around 2m by 1m with 2 chairs which folded down to make a very comfortable bed. I went for lunch in the luxury diner which I hadn't realised that all meals and non-alcoholic drinks were included which was a nice surprise. I wrote a few postcards and talked to a few passengers to pass the time before having dinner and going downstairs to watch the Social Network in the theatrette. It was such a long train over 1000 ft with 3 sleeper cars and economy class cars as well as 2 diner cars and a viewing lounge all spread out over bi-level cars. I was impressed that even the economy class seats had lots of foot room and a fold out table!

We travelled north along the coast past Santa Barbara before heading inland bypassing San Francisco and in the morning we realised that we had been stopped for a while because one of the engines had broken down. We waited 2 hours for a replacement engine to arrive and I had a big breakfast and even a shower on board! After lunch there was even a free wine and cheese tasting session which was awesome except I finished only an hour before dinner was going to be served! It was actually a bonus that the train was delayed because otherwise I would have arrived before 4pm and missed out on dinner onboard. We ended up arriving closer to 7pm and I walked to the HI Portland Northwest Hostel where I will be staying for 3 nights. Phew!

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Tyson on

Normally, I can conceal my envy; but when trains are involved!!

Robyn on

Love train travel. You ended up with a great "room"

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